The Crosby, Stills & Nash co-founder died Thursday after a long illness at 81 years old.
Part of one of the most iconic groups of a generation, David Crosby died on Thursday after a long illness. He was 81.
The legendary performer was a founding member of Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 (and it's various permutations) with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and later Neil Young. He had previously founded The Byrds in 1964.
Crosby's wife of more than 30 years, Jan Dance, shared the news with a statement to Variety. "It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away," she shared.
"He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django," the statement continued. "Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music."
"Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly," the statement concluded. "At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers."
Melissa Etheridge shares a unique connection with Crosby and was among the first to pay tribute to him. "I am grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey's biological father, David," she shared on Twitter. "He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan."
I am grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey’s biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan. His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure. pic.twitter.com/1e0vbvd2SN
In 2000, Etheridge revealed that Crosby was the sperm donor for her two children with Julie Cypher, Beckett and Bailey. Beckett passed away in May 2020 from a drug overdose.
Expressing "deep and profound sadness," Graham Nash paid tribute to his musical collaborator in a lengthy Instagram post. "I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years."
Calling Crosby "fearless in life and music," Nash said that his friend "leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world." He added that Crosby "spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most."
Stephen Stills also paid tribute to Crosby, while acknowledging their sometimes tumultuous history. "David and I butted heads a lot over time, but they were mostly glancing blows, yet still left us [with] numb skulls," he shared in a statement to Variety. "I was happy to be at peace with him."
"He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun," Stills continued. "I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure."
The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson took to Twitter to pay tribute, writing, "I don't know what to say other than I'm heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent - such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words."
Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane admitted that he didn't believe the news at first. He then shared how they first met in the early 1960s. "He came up from Venice with Paul Kantner to play that little venue and hang out in the South Bay Folk scene for a while," he wrote to Instagram.
"He was always brash and self-confident... two qualities he never lost," he continued. "He was a great artist who was always true to himself. He was my friend and what we shared transcended the music. I will miss him!"
"My old friend David is gone," penned Carole King to Twitter. "But he left us with his words, his music and his beautiful voice."
Prolific on social media himself, one of Crosby's last tweets was a muse on heaven. On Wednesday he shared a tweet saying that people with tattoos, who drink, who eat too much pork and who are short will not go to heaven. Crosby commented on the share, "I heard the place is overrated... cloudy."
Tonight at 7pm PST my friends and neighborhood will howl and then blast CSN to honor this beautiful soul and legend. If you do this, please send me videos RIP David Crosby!! We love you. pic.twitter.com/F2LKMmm9LY
David Crosby's music was definitely a part of my life as I'm sure it was for millions of folks. A lot of music came from my 3 sisters rooms when I was a pre-teen & all of it was my introduction to rock & the many variations of. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was ever present. pic.twitter.com/1askSFymJR
RIP David Crosby. As a member of The Byrds, 1 of the historically essential Artists that created the Artform of Rock. The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, Beach Boys & Yardbirds, showed future generations like us what was possible. We owe him, and them, everything.
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David Crosby stuck to his guns. A difficult and gifted man. Whose talent and taste was immense. His harmonious voice still echoes in Laurel Canyon. A proud man who said what he said, and felt what he felt with no apology. A brilliant songwriter, and an American Icon, RIP. pic.twitter.com/lwL5emAdQ3